Lorri L. Jean is nationally recognized as one of the most seasoned and effective leaders in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender ("GLBT") civil rights movement. Jean currently serves as CEO of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the world's largest GLBT organization with an annual budget exceeding $32 million, a staff of over 200, and which serves more than a quarter million people every year. Immediately prior to her return, Jean spent two years as the Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF).
Jean has been a lesbian activist for almost 25 years. She served as the lead plaintiff in the successful landmark lawsuit against Georgetown University to prohibit its discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She also was the first openly gay or lesbian person in history to receive a top secret security clearance from the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1989, with her appointment as Deputy Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA"), she became the highest-ranking openly gay or lesbian person in the Federal government.
In 1993, Jean began her first six-year tenure at the helm of the Gay & Lesbian Center (to which she returned in June 2003). She led the Center through a period of unprecedented expansion, dramatically increasing the number of clients and volunteers, the diversity and volume of services, the number of staff, and the size of the budget. She also oversaw the purchase and renovation of a $7 million facility and built the nation's first $10 million endowment fund in support of a GLBT organization.
During her tenure as executive director of NGLTF, Jean oversaw an organizational turnaround that brought the organization to financial solvency and increased the annual revenues to an all-time high of $5 million. Among other program accomplishments, she focused the organization's political efforts at the state and local level by building a field organizing department, which orchestrated the defeat of nearly all anti-GLBT ballot measures in the 2001 and 2002 election cycles.
Prior to 1993, Jean spent ten years as an attorney with FEMA, including three years overseeing the disaster response and recovery operations of its largest region, where she was responsible for the management of a staff of 1,000 and a budget of more than $1 billion. Jean holds a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Science degree in communication from Arizona State University. In 2007, she was ranked 27th in Out Magazine's "50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America".
- Oxfield, Jesse, Idov, Michael (March 4, 2007), ‘Out’ Ranks the Top 50 Gays; Anderson Is No. 2, New York Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2007.